After my most recent trip between the US and France, I have to plug Air Canada.
I flew this airline for the first time over the holidays, and the experience was one of the most pleasant I’ve had with an airline. Everyone was so friendly, even the security and customs officers.
The flight itself was comfortable. Like the French, Canadians still serve complimentary beverages and meals in flight. When you’re on an 8-hour flight, a glass of wine and tasty meal can make a difference in your mood. And for plane food, it was pretty tasty.
Airports, of course, are hectic; but again, this was a most pleasant airport experience, coming and going. The lines weren’t long; passing security was less stressful because the folks were so kind and helpful; customs was a breeze because the officers were even jovial and didn’t make me feel like a potential criminal.
I think passing thorough Canada was such a pleasant experience because the Canadians have such a good relationship with the French and Americans. Traveling felt like the old days before the fear of terrorists and hi-jackers. The neutrality of Canada, it seems, I evident even at their borders.
I traveled in December in the middle of snowstorms and was worried about cancelations and delays. One of the ticket agents smiled as she answered my inquiry about delays in Toronto. We’re accustomed to snow, she answered. When everyone else is grounded, we fly. I had to smile at hat one myself.
It was especially nice for me to travel with an airline and through a country that equally embraces the French and English languages. Communication was easy and we switched back and forth between the two. I was quite happy to respond ‘yes’ when airline and airport personnel smilingly asked on English: do you speak French ? They seemed pleased and usually continued in French.
The moral I this story? Consider flying Air Canada on your travels between France an the US. You might actually enjoy the long voyage.